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Rescue operation in full swing after nightlong windstorm hits Kashmir Valley

Srinagar , Tue, 20 Mar 2012 ANI

Srinagar, Mar 20 (ANI): State police officials and local authorities on Tuesday engaged in rescue operations after a nightlong windstorm hit the Kashmir valley damaging several houseboats and uprooting several trees and electric poles.


Police officials in rescue boats reached several houseboats floating in Dal Lake and rescued stranded tourists.


Shaken by the powerful windstorm, the affected tourists said they had a horrendous experience last night.


"Last night was a scary experience for us. My son was also very scared as our boat was shaking violently. We felt that we might float to some other place because of the high tides. Our houseboat has been badly damaged. One or two people were injured also. It was a very dangerous experience. The authorities however were quick in response. They reached us very quickly," said Ankita Kumari, a rescued tourist.


Although no loss of life was reported, the authorities were trying to make an estimate of the total loss of property.


Sub-divisional police officer Jeelani Khan said that rescue teams were sent all over the area to rescue tourists and locals as well.


"As soon as we get information about tourists being stranded in a houseboat, we send our rescue teams there. A lot of damage has taken place due to the windstorm. The roofs of many houseboats have flown away and almost all the shikaras have been damaged. We are continuing with our rescue operations," said Khan.


Many chinar and poplar trees, which were uprooted due to the windstorm, have blocked roads in Baramulla and Anantnag Districts snapping inter -district road connectivity.


A nightlong windstorm blew away hundreds of rooftops, uprooted an even greater number of trees and threw the Valley's electric power supply system haywire, compelling the Jammu and Kashmir government to declare a high alert on Tuesday. (ANI)


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